Background: Erythrina poeppigiana (Leguminosae) is a high-growing plant with an orange
flower that is widely distributed in tropical and subtropical countries. This particular plant is
widely used in traditional medicine for gynecological complications and the treatment of various
diseases. There exists no previous information regarding cytotoxic compounds from this plant.
Objective: This research is to isolate cytotoxic compounds from E. poeppigiana.
Methods: The isolation step was carried out using a combination of chromatographic techniques to
obtain isolated three compounds (1, 2, and 3).
Results: The chemical structure of isolated compounds was elucidated by spectroscopic methods and
identified as β-erythroidine (1), 8-oxo-β-erythroidine (2), and 8-oxo-α-erythroidine (3). Compounds
(1-3) showed cytotoxic activity against MCF-7 breast cancer line with IC50 values of 36.8, 60.8 and
875.4 μM, respectively.
Conclusion: Three compounds have been successfully isolated from Erythrina poeppigiana (Leguminosae),
showing cytotoxic properties against MCF-7 breast cancer line. Structure-activity relationship
studies showed that the presence of enone moiety on compound 1 can reduce its cytotoxic activity
towards MCF-7 breast cancer line.